First Port Visit Outstanding Experience
12th June 2017
Warm thanks to DP World Southampton and a nod to extreme flexibility and organisation
As Spatial Global welcomed a mixture of clients and potential clients to the first in a series of port tours planned for this year, it brought home the daily challenges of managing this busy facility. Monday 5th June the CMA CGM Bougainville should have docked at Southampton at 11.30pm. As the largest container ship in the world at the time of her launch in August 2015, having maximum capacity for 18,000 TEU with 1,254 reefer plugs – this would have had the Port of Southampton operational team busy managing the unloading. Instead the container ship remained at anchor and was rescheduled to dock at 9.30pm the next evening.
The Spatial Global guests were all welcomed warmly and given an insider view
Robert Freeman, the Commercial Manager at DP World Southampton, dedicated his time and shared his 40 plus years of experiences in managing cargo across rail, sea and working in the UK’s docks. He gave the Spatial Global tour party a fabulous insight into the flexibility and diversity of what the Port of Southampton has to manage on a daily basis.
Tours and, explanations of the strategic planning and operations nerve centre
It was fascinating to see the flexibility within the DP World strategic management team, responsible for planning how the cargo would be unloaded upon a vessel’s arrival. Given the CMA CGM Bougainville should have docked at Southampton the night before, all their plans were reworked – staff reallocated – this was extreme flexibility witnessed first hand. The operations nerve centre, responsible for putting the plans into action, explained how the combination of people and cranes were able to consistently deliver the UK’s leading performance.
In one instance 737 containers were unloaded in a 12 hour continuous shift, that’s one container every 59 seconds – a record that still stands.
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The investment in equipment, infrastructure and process
Every last area was planned, from the flexibility of the workforce to the on-going maintenance of the vast variety of equipment used. DP World has made significant investment in both The Port of Southampton and DP World London Gateway, from the physical port infrastructure to crane technology - which means they weigh every container for documentation compliance and container ship safety; to photographing every container entering or leaving the port to manage container condition. It really is a highly educational insight into the operations of one of the UK’s best performing ports.
The port safety, security and efficiency procedures were experienced first hand
With a mini bus tour of the entire Port of Southampton, Robert took the party on the journey of a container entering the port and being loaded. Followed by the container being unloaded and dispatched to it’s rail, road or sea onward journey. It was a fascinating experience and one which provides a real insight into the challenges faced to get the products used in our daily lives without a second thought, here.
How do Spatial Global work with DP World'
Although both Spatial Global and DP World work with the shipping lines and carriers independently - and from opposite sides of the supply chain - Spatial Global needs an active ‘live view’ on the activities at the Port to keep customers fully informed. The CNS (Community Network System) provides a view on container movements and status updates from sea to land via HMRC. However, monitoring and tracking cargo, means keeping our customers up to date on activity and managing expectations through timely communications – especially when a vessel is docked. DP World provide valuable additional information directly through their Current Port Status data feeds – which helps us identify any issues, just like the wind preventing the CMA CGM Bougainville docking due to strong winds.